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And How Do We Feel This Morning?

By James L. Snyder

Without question, going to the hospital is teamwork from the time you arrive until you are wheeled out the front door. Everyone is working together for the common good of the patient, or at least a crack at his bank account. That is as it should be in such mercenary endeavors.

Spending a few days in the hospital recently reinforced this in my own mind. Although my time in the hospital was brief, I was given the full treatment.

The hospital staff left no bed unturned in the holy quest of my recuperation. No matter what time of night it was, each nurse cooperated in awakening me and asking, "And how do we feel tonight?"

Teamwork is good for a number of things in life. Peanut butter and jelly, ham and eggs, and bologna and cheese are a few things benefiting from cooperation. In each example, one element compliments the other and the combination is greater than each individual part. This is coordination at it finest.

There is a limitation to the so-called cooperation, especially in the environment of the hospital. I don't want to complain, but now that I am out, I feel a little freer expressing my opinion, without fear of any needling from the hospital staff.

I will grant you, nurses are some of the most wonderful people in the world. The job they do is simply marvelous. It is absolutely true that patients could not get along without these nurses.

On the other hand, what would these nurses do without patients?

I don't want to brag here, but if it were not for patients like me (if there are patients like me), nurses would not have a single thing to do in the hospital. Essentially, they owe their job to me. The level of their significance is in direct proportion to the patients they serve.

Not one to belabor a point, (it's hard to do any labor in my condition right now) I think it's about time someone stood up for patient rights. Since I have nothing to do for the next week except recuperate here at home, I am the perfect person to say something about this crucial issue.

The major complaint I have is with the "we-disease" rampant in hospitals across the nation. This "we-disease" syndrome has gotten out of hand and despite all the research, no cure seems looming in the hospital corridors.

Every morning, around 5 o'clock, my nurse came bouncing into my room with the cheeriest of dispositions, completely disregarding my condition at hand and boldly asked, "And how do we feel this morning?"

Even on my best day, 5 o'clock in the morning is not a good time to ask me any question, especially how I'm feeling. If there were any chance that I was feeling good, I certainly would not be in the hospital.

The thing most disturbing to me is the sense on the part of the nurse to personally identify with my pain. Hence, "And how do we feel this morning?"

I object to this vehemently. It is my pain, not "our" pain. I believe each nurse should go and get their own pain. I'm paying a lot for this pain and I deserve all the credit. I do not choose to share my pain with anyone, especially someone with a bubbly orientation so early in the morning.

It's my ailment and I have the right to not only enjoy it but also tell everyone about it. One reason it's so hard to tell people about my ailment is everybody wants to tell me about their own ailments instead.

My hospital room that I'm paying for should be the one place I can indulge my ailment. I should not have to compete with nurses concerning my prevailing ailment. From a casual perusal of medical journals while waiting in the doctor's office, there are more than enough ailments to go around.

This is my ailment and I share it with no person, especially healthy nurses wielding needles and pain pills.

If I hear that phrase, "And how do we feel this morning?" one more time I'm going to throw some business to my favorite funeral home.

A related phrase brought just as much frustration. My good nurse came in one morning and quipped, "And are we having our breakfast this morning?"

Looking at the breakfast tray before me, with barely enough for me, I simply glared at her. If she had any designs of slicing in on my breakfast, blood would flow. I gripped my plastic knife menacingly.

This whole thing came to a head my last morning in the hospital. My evanescent nurse burst into my room and asked, "And are we ready for our bath this morning?" This was the straw that sipped the last drop of patience from my languishing body.

Nothing is more personal to me then "my" bath. I will share my tub with nobody except my rubber ducky.

Getting rest in the hospital is a challenge for the weariest soul. Just when you think you have snuggled down for a snooze, someone asks how you are.

The best rest comes from Jesus Christ who invites everyone to "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30 KJV.)

His inquiry is always welcome and comes at the right time, like now.

About The Author

Reverend Snyder is currently ministering at the "Family of God Fellowship" in Ocala, Florida. More of his articles are available for reprint at his website: Rev. Snyder is available as a guest speaker. He writes a weekly column and is the author of "Romance Around a Parsonage Fireplace" available at:


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